Ohio foster care youth and alumni had a beautiful whirlwind of a Friday, with several amazing opportunities in one day.
1.) We began with a morning meeting with Representative Russo regarding the establishment of a Youth Ombudsman’s Office. Participants included OHIO YAB President Roman Sandhu, Jermaine Ferguson, Juliana Barton, Jeremy Collier, Antonio Sledge, Lisa Dickson, Doris Edelman, and Kim Eckhart. Jermaine Ferguson’s legislative connections and prior networking with the Children’s Caucus brought great value to today’s legislative meeting.
2.) Next, we facilitated a training for the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Participants included financial aid administrators from all over the state. The training was facilitated by Tina Jacob of Ohio Reach, Lisa Dickson of ACTION Ohio, and Ohio Reach Peer Mentors Kyajah Rodriguez, Cloe Cooper, Amadea Jennings and Lamar Graham.
It felt like coming full circle that Director of Financial Aid John Brown at Capital University is dedicated helping to champion the needs of foster youth on campus, since Capital University was also the site of our 2009-2012 Thanksgiving Together celebrations. As today’s training came to an end, Director Brown stressed that, “We don’t want this to be a one and done thing - this is an ongoing partnership.”
3.) Afterwards, we had a call with Kerstin Sjoberg, the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio, and Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman Beverly Laubert, which was made possible thanks to Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio. Excellent insights were shared.